Tianjin University led the development of the first emergency transport ECMO in China to successfully treat patients with sudden death

News from the Beijing News (Reporter Liu Yang, Correspondent Jiao Defang) On July 26, the reporter learned from Tianjin University that the first set of domestic emergency transport extracorporeal membrane oxygenation equipment (hereinafter referred to as ECMO) led by Tianjin University was launched in Hebei. Zhangjiakou successfully treated a sudden death patient. According to reports, this is a “historical moment” when the domestic emergency transport ECMO was successfully applied in clinical practice, and it is also a model of the clinical transformation of Tianjin University’s “integration of medicine and engineering”.

Medical staff resuscitating the patient. Photo courtesy of Tianjin University

ECMO is called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation), or “artificial heart-lung machine”, and is known as the “king” of the existing cardiopulmonary bypass technology. The principle is that the blood pump replaces the heart and the membrane lung replaces the lung, and the blood is continuously transported to the human body to form an extracorporeal life circulatory system to ensure the operation of various organs, thereby maintaining life. As an advanced technology in the field of critical first aid, ECMO’s treatment level has become an important indicator to measure the comprehensive rescue level of a hospital, region or even a country for critically ill patients. At present, the world’s major ECMO manufacturers have long been dominated by American and German companies. There are only about 500 units in my country, and they basically rely on foreign imports.

According to reports, the “first set of emergency transport ECMO in China” was jointly issued by the Institute of Emergency Medicine of the Medical Department of Tianjin University and Tianjin Huikang Medical Equipment Co., Ltd. This type of ECMO has the advantages of being small and portable, easy to operate, and stable in performance. Approved by the Ethics Committee, this type of ECMO is currently being promoted in tertiary hospitals such as Tianjin University Chest Hospital, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Shenzhen University General Hospital, and the First Affiliated Hospital of Hebei North University.

July 22, a critically ill patient was admitted to the emergency department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Hebei North University in Zhangjiakou City. The reporter learned that when he was admitted to the hospital, the patient was in a near-death state, his condition was extremely critical, and his vital signs were extremely unstable. After consultation by the expert group and informed consent of the patient, the hospital decided to use extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation technology, based on the domestic emergency ECMO system, to implement venous-arterial (V-A) to support the assisted circulatory breathing function. With the efforts of the medical staff, the patient successfully completed the intubation and transfer. After 12 hours, the patient gradually became conscious, and bedside ultrasound showed recovery of cardiac function. Physicians successfully weaned the patient after gradually reducing the flow of ECMO support. As of press time, the patient’s vital signs were stable and no complications occurred.

Xue Qianlong, director of the emergency department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Hebei North University, is in charge of this emergency. He said that the current international ECMO products are expensive, and it is even more difficult to find one machine during the new crown pneumonia epidemic. The emergency transport ECMO developed by Tianjin University is easy to operate, its performance is comparable to that of mainstream foreign products, and its cost is more than half of similar products.

Professor Fan Haojun, deputy dean of the Institute of Emergency Medicine of Tianjin University, introduced that he led the team to comprehensively analyze and compare the advantages and disadvantages of foreign superior products, combined with the actual domestic emergency clinical needs, focusing on the circulating blood pump of the ECMO system, The independent research and development of core technical equipment such as anticoagulation coating, oxygenation membrane lung and pipeline is expected to break the monopoly of foreign products in this field and achieve a major breakthrough in the independent research and development of domestic high-end ECMO.

Editing by Wu Hui

Proofreading by Liu Baoqing